Daily   Dying   Meditation

If you're not at a point of naturally dying each moment or being fully awake in the present, then perhaps some sort of "daily dying" exercise might be useful. This practice is not to hasten death or ignore the astonishing wonders of life, but simply to recognize that what's generally called as "life" also contains "death". Moreover, too many people are too rigid about their notions of what reality is: dying is a way of loosening up and realizing all things are transient. Our notions of death might change over time.
Sometime each day when you are free of the need to focus on other matters, close your eyes and "erase" your body. If it seems difficult to do entirely, then wipe it away section-by-section. Begin with the legs and imagine that they're gone: what seemed like body tissue will become hollowness. After your legs have vanished, erase the torso and arms: let them disappear into space. After everything below the neck is gone, eliminate head until all traces of "your" physical body vanish. Realizing that our physical sheaths came from nothingness and inevitably return to nothingness might make this process easier.
After the body is gone, notice whether thoughts exist. If something like a thought does arise, will it to oblivion. A dead person has no need of thought. With this realization, mental activity will diminish. Experience what it's like to be thoughtless. . . . a curious sense of stillness might ensue. Remember we are not our thoughts – there're just energy flows that should be allowed to pass . . .
After being thoughtless for a while, ascertain whether anything else that needs to be eliminated. You might notice some subtle feelings. A gentle, but firm determination to let go of anything appearing to define you helps. Most people tend to identify with their feelings closely. At least once a day, it's good to experience a state that's both thoughtless and beyond feeling. By the way, that state is also fearless.
After being in (or near) this condition for a while, focus on the breath. What do you notice with the breath? How much conscious intention is there? At this point notice the body. What's it here for?
After this, become aware of the environment. How does the tiny body that you occupy fit in the larger environment? Before completing this, take some time for the energy channels to reconnect . . . be aware any parts that seem disconnected. If you wish to live, affirm the connections.
Daily dying is really about living, not death. The process is an exercise to notice how death and life intermingle. Being aware of death can help us to live more keenly and completely in the present, appreciating the tiny things that often go unnoticed each day.